Fitch Affirms Diamond Bank’s ‘BBB’+ Rating

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Diamond Bank Plc’s strong fundamentals has been reaffirmed by the global credit ratings and research agency, Fitch Ratings.

In the recently released 2016 Ratings Review of Nigerian Banks, Flitch affirmed a ‘B’ Rating, with Stable Outlook for Diamond Bank’s Short-term and Long-term Foreign Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDR).

The bank’s National Long-term Rating was also affirmed at ‘BBB+ (nga)’; while the National Short-term Rating was affirmed at ‘F2 (nga)’. Viability Rating was affirmed at ‘b’; Support Rating affirmed at ‘4’; Support Rating Floor: affirmed at ‘B’; while the Senior unsecured notes Rating was affirmed at ‘B’/’RR4’.

The ‘B’ IDR Rating indicated that Diamond Bank has the capacity to meet financial commitments, subject to the country’s business and economic environment; while the ‘BBB+ (nga)’ National Ratings denote a “moderate default risk relative to other issuers or obligations in the same country.”

Furthermore, the ‘F2 (nga)’ National Short-term Rating “indicates a good capacity for timely payment of financial commitments relative to other issuers or obligations in the same country.”

These ratings were premised partly on Fitch’s downgrade of Nigeria’s sovereign ratings (to ‘B+’) on 23 June 2016, in addition to the bank’s strong capital, operational and liquidity positions.

Reacting to the report, the bank’s spokesperson, Ayona Trimnell said: “These ratings affirms the precision of our corporate strategy in deploying new technologies and digital applications to drive financial inclusion, convenient banking, enhanced customer friendly services and our overall retail banking approach.”

Fitch noted that the strong regulatory capital ratios of the bank have helped offset the one-off impact from the devaluation arising from Nigeria’s new FX regime. Nevertheless, the buffer between Nigerian banks’ capital ratios and the regulatory minimum is reducing. Fitch expects foreign currency liquidity to remain tight in 2016, particularly as supply has not increased dramatically. The agency noted that some banks have accumulated sufficient foreign currency liquidity to meet 2016 maturities.

“Since incorporation in December 1990, Diamond Bank has challenged the market environment by introducing new products, innovative technology and setting new benchmarks through international standards. Today, Diamond Bank is best placed to respond to changing lifestyles and is leading the digital transformation in response to these societal shifts,” the statement added.